Lisa Schwarzbaum
February 24, 2012 AT 05:00 AM EST

This Is Not a Film

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
runtime
75 minutes
Limited Release Date
02/29/12
performer
Jafar Panahi
genre
Documentary

We gave it an A

Ignore the title This Is Not a Film — this is a great film, and a triumph of creativity and courage over repression. Sentenced to house arrest on charges of antigovernment collusion and banned from making movies, the wonderful Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi (The Circle) uses himself, his home, an iPhone, and a digital camera smuggled in by a collaborator to shape a movie that sneaks in wry political commentary along the way. (The film itself escaped Iran on a USB stick hidden inside a cake.) This “not film” is a stirring demonstration of how just living one’s daily life can be a work of art. A

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